Grand Canyon North Rim reopens
Here are 5 things you need to know
Good news for those visiting the North Rim of Grand Canyon when it reopens: Repairs to a broken water line that is the North Rim’s only source of water were completed far ahead of schedule, so businesses and facilities will be fully operational.
That includes the Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim, which had advised its overnight guests that the hotel would not open until May 26. The lodge is contacting guests to reinstate their original reservations.
Now that the pipe is back at capacity, all facilities and services will be operating as normal when North Rim gates open at 7:30 a.m. Monday.
Here are five things to know as the North Rim wakes up from its annual winter hibernation.
- Rock slides last winter swept away 387 feet of the pipe that delivers water from Roaring Springs up to the North Rim. Despite steep terrain requiring workers and sections of pipe to be delivered by helicopter, repairs were finished nearly two weeks ahead of schedule.
- All services will be in place starting Monday. The lodge restaurant will serve a full menu as well as a breakfast buffet. The Rough Rider Saloon will be open 5:30-10:30 a.m. serving coffee and breakfast burritos, then again 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. for drinks and snacks. The grocery store, gas station and post office will operate as usual.
- Crews also have repaired and reopened the North Kaibab Trail, which had been damaged by the slides, but continuing work may result in brief delays. Hikers are urged not to go off the trail in an attempt to circumvent temporary closures.
- Want to learn more about the Canyon? The visitor center and Grand Canyon Association bookstore will be open 8 a.m.-6 p.m daily, hosting ranger programs. Grand Canyon Trail Rides will resume, too, offering one- to three-hour tours aboard mules.
- As crews worked on the broken pipe, trucks had been delivering 30,000-40,000 gallons of water a day since April 28. Thanks to that stopgap measure, there is enough water in the rim’s 4-million-gallon tanks to meet the needs of visitors as well as fire suppression.
Things to do at the North Rim
Bright Angel Point vista: A paved, quarter-mile trail leads from the patio behind Grand Canyon Lodge out along a finger of rock to a magnificent overlook.
Cape Final hike: About 2.5 miles before the end of road to Cape Royal is the Cape Final Trailhead. The 4-mile round-trip hike through woods is mostly flat and takes you to dandy overlooks.
Point Imperial scenic drive: Point Imperial is just 3 miles north of the “T” intersection that also leads to Cape Royal. At more than 8,800 feet, it is the highest point on either rim and offers unrivaled views, especially of Mount Hayden and Saddle Mountain. An easy, 2-mile trail leads north from Point Imperial through an area burned by 2000’s Outlet Fire. The trail officially ends at the park boundary, but you can continue on to the Nankoweap Trail and Saddle Mountain area.
Lodging outside the park
Kaibab Lodge: This rustic property 5 miles from the park entrance dates to about 1926. The setting includes forest and meadow, and wildlife is abundant. It’s a true getaway — there are no TVs or telephones, and you won’t have cell service or Wi-Fi. Accommodations consist of cabins in configurations ranging from single to quad to fit groups of varying sizes. A restaurant serves breakfast and dinner. Kaibab Lodge is open from mid-May through mid-October.
Details: 928-638-2389, www.kaibablodge.com.
Jacob Lake Inn: This one-stop property is 45 miles north of the North Rim at the junction of U.S. 89A and State Route 67. In addition to motel rooms and cabins, Jacob Lake Inn has a restaurant, bakery (trust us — buy some cookies), small grocery store and a gift shop with an extensive collection of American Indian art. A gas station is adjacent.
Details: 928-643-7232, www.jacoblake.com.